According to Los Dos, a culinary school in Mérida, Mexico, the rattlesnake is an important deity in Mayan culture, and also the inspiration for polkanes, a bean-stuffed corn fritter from the Yucatán Peninsula.
Normally it’s made with ibes, an indigenous white bean that is apparently difficult to find in Austin, Texas, because at Bacalar, a Yucatán restaurant in that city, chef and owner Gabe Erales uses lentils instead. He also adds cheese.
Elsewhere in celebration of Latin American products, Emilio Salehi, beverage director of Cavaña in San Francisco, uses Argentine vermouth, Mexican whisky and chile liqueur, and tequila infused with charred corn to make his interpretation of a Manhattan cocktail.
A couple of miles away at Corzetti, the centuries old pasta culture of the Italian region of Liguria is celebrated with a dish of embossed edible coins.
It’s Nikkei cuisine, Peruvian food with Japanese influences, that’s honored at Chotto Matte in Miami Beach, Fla., with what is the second lychee ceviche in NOM this year.
And for dessert, or brunch, or whenever you like, Denae’s Diner in Los Angeles has a cinnamon croissant French toast dish called The Black Dahlia.
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]